James 1:1

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings"

Servant - in the greek it means bondservant, more or less meaning slave. Do I consider myself a slave for Christ? I try to Love the Lord by keeping his commandments, but even in that I fail. If I'm a slave - there should be no question what the right decision is when sinful opportunities arise. I like that the greek translates BONDservant. It reckons the connection as being inseparable. Which is true - I have been bought with a high price, and now that I have the Holy Spirit in me, and a regenerate heart, I could never escape from the Lord, no matter how much I try and run away. Like a father watching his kids, when I run too far away, he is always quick to snatch me up in his arms.

The perspective of James, and likewise Jude - who begins his book the same way - is very interesting. These two men were brothers of Jesus, they grew up along side of him. It makes sense that Christ's family call him crazy in the gospels - can you imagine your own brother or sister deserving your worship as king? but here, at the start of their books, they call themselves servants of Jesus Christ. Servants to their own brother.

Another interesting thought is that the tribes are scattered. “Scattered” here is the word “diaspora” which comes from two words: “dia” - through, and “speirein” - to sow. The word literally means “through sowing”, which makes what the ESV refers to as "the Dispersement", seem to be a reaction to Christ's command "bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth."

But the Jewish context of the tripes seems more related to Acts 11:19, when the Christian Jews were scattered from Jerusalem after the stoning of Stephen. There is a communicable idea that going out into the world is to sow the gospel as well. The reason for leaving aside, the actions are one.

Regardless of the strength of intentions by the word scattered, James is clearly writing to the saved abroad. Being the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, his letter is an encouragement to his brothers and sisters forced to leave the Holy land for their faith. As a christian in the world, I feel alien - due to sin, rebellion, clashing cultures - and i'm not always in my comfort zone in the world. Maybe my perspective is not so different.

He uses his letter to urge all Christians toward serious holiness and unconditional obedience to the word of God - which often times seem like the same idea to me. I often try to prove my holiness to God through obedience - but I've recently found that to be more a reaction to fear of God's judgement than of joy for what He has done for me. I'm looking forward to diving into holiness as a discipline, instead of seeing it as a reaction to what I do.

Hebrews 12:14 - Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Soccer: Spring 2010

Last semester, I suffered a back injury playing soccer. I took a tackle that ended with me landing on my back, not much unlike the one above - if Pogatetz's fall were the result of a shoulder to the chest. I quickly popped up, determined to walk it off, and continued to play soccer at least 3 times a week for the next month. But the pain in my back was lingering, and began to hurt more with time, so I eventually went to the chiropractor.

At the doctor, I learned the tackle actually separated my last vertebrae from my tail bone. The break is referred to as Spondylolisthesis:

The lines above are drawn with pencil by the doctor, and would normally be aligned, if not for the break. The result is abnormal pressure on a nerve tube running through my back that decreases my range of motion (i.e. i use to be able to touch my toes, now i physically can't get closer than 6" away), and adds a dull soreness. (think of it like when you go to the beach. when you first get to the ocean, you think "wow, the waves are so loud!" but after an hour, you don't even notice them anymore)

When i first learned of my injury, i had to take a break from the gym and soccer from about 3 months, and i got pretty depressed for about a month into the hiatus. Fears like "will i be able to wrestle with my kids one day" started running through my head. But i went through some rehabilitation, and i can generally do what i use to. I can play soccer now, although my skill level has dropped off, and i can swim, play touch-football, even go to the gym. I'm actually undergoing training to build up the muscles in my core to help my back. It may never heal, but it is treatable, and mentally i'm healthier than ever.


I say all of this for one important that only occurs in the Spring semester: Intramural Soccer!!! I had the joy of being able to play on a team with some of my best friends Will, David, and Tyler, and we genuinely had a lot of fun. We played in a division above our team's ability, but we had a great time. Unfortunately, last night was as far as we got in the playoffs, and the season has come to an end. The final score was 0-2, but we had around 8 shots on goal, 2 of which deflected off the goalie, and 4 off the post (not to mention Tyler totally destroyed a kid with a legal tackle). Both of their goals came at very lucky shots off of simple errors, which hurts even more. The points are what matters, sure, but we definitely played the better game.

All in all, I'm really appreciative for the friendships i've built with Will and Tyler this semester. Will is an accounting guy as well, and president of the BCM. He is a servant to Christ as a leader of college students, which i think is very admirable. Getting to participate in Beta Alpha Psi (the accounting honors society) events have been a blast (LASER TAG), and we play a lot of FIFA2010 together.

Tyler has also become a great brother in Christ. A friend of David's from back home, i first got to know him when he lived at our apartment for a little while when he moved back to Tallahassee. He was first here during his internship last semester, and he was also the one to invite me to Four Oaks, as well as the Fellowship Group we're a part of now. His fervor for the Lord has been really encouraging, and he's been a great friend to talk to, i feel like we have a lot in common. I'm really looking forward to going to the Four Oaks Men's Retreat with him this weekend. It all seems like the beginning of a really great friendship.


I'm looking forward to the rest of this semester. I am stronger than ever in my relationshipwith with the Lord. He's really provided with my school work thus far, and taken care of me with my finances - i recently was hired by the University as a tutor in the library! Next month is when i hear back from accounting firms and businesses on internships and other accounting conferences, so the tension is building. Luckily this semester has been a lot of fun.